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KEFALONIA - in winter

Greece is a very popular summer destination for millions of visitors each year who come to soak up the sun on the multitude of glorious beaches, swim in the clean blue seas and explore the natural and classical wonders.

Less well known are the ski resorts of northern and central Greece which, while not rivalling the resorts in Switzerland and France, etc, nevertheless offer some good skiing.

Kefalonia, like most of Greece, is ‘open’ from May to October. If you’ve visited Kefalonia at the start or end of the season you’ll know how quiet it is and, out of season, it’s quieter still. Of course, visitors are welcome all year but the volume of winter visitors doesn’t make it economically viable to keep all the tavernas, etc, open and the amount of accommodation available is limited. Argostoli and Lixouri remain active all year round but Lassi, a bustling resort in summer, shuts up shop completely, apart from maybe a bar or two open at weekends. Skala, a hive of activity from May to October, reverts back to being a small village with a few bars and, maybe, a couple of tavernas open. Sami, a busy port during the summer, goes into hibernation with a very limited choice of tavernas open. Poros seems comparatively lively with maybe six or more tavernas remaining open. Katelios, Lourdas, Agia Efimia, Fiskardo… gone fishing, or picking olives.

Often the days are pleasantly warm with clear blue skies, making it ideal for walking – in shorts and polo shirt. Nights tend to be cold, starting from the moment the sun drops behind the nearest mountain. At some time it will – hopefully – rain. Without it the spring grass doesn’t grow green and the flocks suffer, the flowers don’t bloom so brightly and summer supplies of water are precarious. Some winters are so sunny and dry they would make perfect British summers. Other years, the winter rains last for weeks on end, although it tends to be warm rain falling straight down rather than cold rain driving at you at an angle, as in the UK. The rain, together with the cold nights and lack of heat in the sun, tend to make winters – and buildings – damp and some form of heating and a warm duvet are necessary.

The variable winter weather makes beach holidays unappealing and Kefalonia doesn’t get sufficient snow to make it a viable ski centre. But it does get snow almost every year, although usually only on the top of the mountains. However, during February, 2006 a combination of strong winds and a heavy snow fall brought down about twenty pylons around the island. The whole island was without mains power for several days, some villages were without power and water for over a week. But that’s rare.

So, for those who live and work here, winter’s a time to get some much needed rest, meet up with friends we haven’t seen all summer and indulge in our pastimes. Such as taking photographs:

Sunny Kefalonia


Photo by Jo Thurley
cold car


  Winter 2006

February, 2006: strong winds and heavy snow brought down electricity pylons and telephone poles around the island. Some parts were without power and water (pumped) for eight days.



Ainos, the 'Black Mountain', turned into the white mountain

Ithaka under snow


No-one's on the beach - it rains here in winter, too

Low mist on Ainos

katelios Katelios in winter

Poros lashed by winter waveswaves

beach April: a sunny day on the beach...
...snow still on Ainos

Christmas in Argostoli

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